Rock your vote

Walking through the courtyard, I suddenly became enthralled in the tail end of a conversation two students were having as they walked behind me. I soon pieced together these two students were talking about voting. Already knowing that the youth vote would be one of the most important votes in the 2008 Presidential election, I tried to overhear their thoughts on the matter. I heard one of them state that she had told her friend, who was not present during the conversation, she was not going to vote. Though her friend told her it was her right as an American to vote, the student quickly noted that it was her right as an American not to vote.I couldn’t help but question the actual importance of the vote in general.During the four years I was in high school, I constantly heard the youth’s distaste for the current administration. I always heard how bad, volatile and dishonorable it was. While I tended not to share these views, I often asked them if they planned on voting in the next Presidential election when they finally turned 18. I always came across the same two answers-“No” or “I’m still not sure.” It was at this realization that I often found their initial thoughts to be ironic. I could not understand how individuals were so quick to thrust in their two cents on the government, but wouldn’t even do something as simple as voting to try and change something they do not agree with.After I graduated high school and entered college, I still did not understand this thinking. It was not until I began to discuss the election and the nominees with a certain individual that I was suddenly able to have the wool lifted from my eyes. As I asked him why he was not going to vote, he answered, “Because my vote doesn’t make a difference.” I was speechless. I kept questioning him about his thinking and he kept repeating the same thing. After doing some research, I then began to understand this notion. While citizens take part in the presidential election, they are actually voting for an elector within the Electoral College who, in turn, votes for the President of the United States. Living in a state that has mostly been granted to a Republican in the last few presidential elections, this has sometimes hindered the voting of the Democrats living within the state because they already know that even though they are voting, the state will most likely be rewarded to the Republican nominee. Perhaps this is the problem with the general vote. They do not believe their voices will be heard if they are only voting for an elector, and not the actual president.I often get tired of hearing adults complain of their disagreement with the Government without even bothering to participate in an election when they have all the requirements one needs to vote. However, maybe this is the true right of an American-to actually have the right to vote or not vote without having to worry about the repercussions that come of it. A right deprived of so many around the world. A right that we as Americans take for granted time and time again.

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